Difference Between Eau De Toilette & Cologne

By Claire McAdams

A young woman once asked Coco Chanel where one should use perfume. The fashion icon answered simply, "Wherever one wants to be kissed." Whether it's fresh and floral or spicy and sensuous, the right perfume captures the essence of your personality, your sense of style and even your mood. When you settle upon your perfect scent, you'll likely find it comes in a variety of concentrations. Cologne and eau de toilette are two of the lighter options.

Bottle with aromatic oil and pink rose
credit: Olezzo/iStock/Getty Images
Choose a lighter concentration of a favorite scent for warmer weather.

Cologne Facts

Cologne, also sometimes called eau de cologne, contains between 4 and 7 percent aromatic oils mixed with between 60 and 70 proof alcohol, relates "Hello!" magazine. The lower concentration of oil in cologne gives it a milder, lighter bouquet compared to heavier concentrations of the same fragrance. It also evaporates more quickly and can be reapplied as needed. Cologne is often packaged in large-sized spray bottles and typically offered at a lower price point than stronger formulations.

About Eau de Toilette

Eau de toilette contains a slightly higher amount of fragrance oil than cologne, typically between 8 and 15 percent. The lighter, fruitier top notes of an eau de toilette are the most intense, and an application of this fragrance concentration fades in a few hours. Additionally, because it contains less aromatic essence than the more heavily concentrated eau de parfum or perfume extract, an eau de toilette is frequently less expensive.